Pomegranate quinoa salad with strawberry, fetta and mint

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On Saturday evening, I cooked dinner for a very dear friend, partly to celebrate her very welcome return from overseas adventures. I enjoyed the excuse to experiment with the rather lonely pomegranate that had been sitting on my kitchen bench for too long. If there is anyone who is sympathetic to food experiments, it is this particular friend, who used to build quite extraordinary concoctions when we lived together a few years ago (omelette with vanilla and dates; tuna chilli con carne; &c).

It was, by the way, a most extraordinary pomegranate. Its big, glistening seeds tasted so much like candy that only about half of them made them into the bowl.

This recipe is a based on one from a beautiful blog I found just recently, which celebrates seasonal produce with fresh, tasty recipes and stunning photos: http://www.loveandlemons.com/2012/07/06/strawberry-quinoa-feta-salad/

I added pomegranate to the recipe above, and modified it a little in the general direction of what I had in the fridge. It’s all very adaptable.

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These quantities serve two, with leftovers (which, admittedly, we’d eaten by the time dinner plates were cleared away).

1/2 cup dry quinoa, cooked
50g crumbled fetta
5 spring onions, chopped
A small bunch of mint, chopped
50g chopped walnuts, toasted in the oven with a little bit of olive oil
The seeds from half a pomegranate
6-8 strawberries, chopped
A couple of handfuls of rocket

Dressing

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup verjuice
The juice of half a lemon
Pepper, to taste

It’s also very quick to make. While cooking the quinoa and toasting the walnuts, chop and prepare everything else, including pillaging the pomegranate (I find the easiest and quickest is to pull it apart with your fingers, picking off the seeds, while ensuring you’re wearing something hard to stain with dark pink juice). Put it all together, whisk together the dressing ingredients, toss and serve!

Two happy extras are 1) you will have plenty of leftover pomegranate seeds for nibbling or making other things, and 2) it looks very Christmassy.

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